News Release

Pool Corp. CEO to address graduates

Contact: Rene Abadie


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Manuel Perez de la Mesa

     HAMMONDManuel J. Perez de la Mesa, chief executive officer of Pool Corporation, will address Southeastern Louisiana University graduates at the university’s fall commencement on Saturday, Dec. 13.

     Southeastern will confer associate, bachelor’s and master’s degrees on approximately 1,200 students at the 10 a.m. ceremony in the University Center.

     The commencement ceremony will feature the introduction of this year’s class of “Golden Graduates,” members of the Class of 1958 and previous years, who will lead the new graduates into the University Center dressed in golden academic regalia.

     Called “one of the best Louisiana stories out there,” Pool Corporation was established in 1993 in Covington and has grown to become the world’s largest wholesale distributor of swimming pool supplies and related equipment. The company has grown to over 280 sales centers in North America and Europe and distributes more than 100,000 national brand and private label products. Pool Corporation – now a Fortune 1000 company – maintains more than 70,000 customers.

     “Pool Corp. is a true north shore success story,” said Interim President John L. Crain. “As its leader, Mr. Perez de la Mesa’s message is one from which our graduates will certainly benefit.”

     Perez de la Mesa was appointed to his current position in 2001, having previously served as president of the company since 1999. Prior to joining Pool Corporation, he was vice president of operations for Watsco, Inc. a wholesale distributor of heating, air conditioning and refrigeration equipment. He has also held various general and managerial positions with Fresh Del Monte Produce and IBM Corp.

     A graduate of Florida International University with a Bachelor of Business Administration Degree, he also holds a Master of Business Administration Degree from St. John’s University in New York.

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